Written by: Jim Harper, CSM’s Business Development Manager
During my senior year of college, I was getting lectured on how efficiency will drive profitability. Since I was a 21-year-old “kid”, it really didn’t sink in until later on in my professional sales career. You know the old adage of work smarter, not harder? It’s true. By implementing a repeatable process that is transferable from one scenario to another, that saying becomes reality.
As a Business Development Manager, I am looking to bring on sales agents for a product suite that is fairly mature, yet the market is untapped. How is that going to work out? Well, sit back and I will proceed to explain a methodology on how I am able to do this.
The first step of the process (a word I will overuse quite heavily in this article) is to define exactly what it is that you are trying to do. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. We can all create a repeatable process; our whole world revolves around them. However, can it be defined and transferred to the chosen audience? Therein lies the struggle. I need a channel to push my product suite through the territory with as much ease as possible. The first step is to identify that territory. The research during this stage is critical to qualifying the channel. I need to document my contacts and silos of industry I am pursuing and see where I am getting the greatest amount of traction. If a specific silo of business has the greatest response, I need to figure out what industries feed that silo. This is when the transfer happens, in which I take the documentation of the process I followed for the initial success, and transfer it to the next group.
Here I am at the next silo and I need to evaluate it and see how it is going. I need to set benchmarks and rate them against the original philosophy. Personal honesty plays a large role; you have to be honest with yourself regarding whether this is going better or worse than your first initiative. If you are not successful implementing your process, you need to either find another silo of business or redefine your process. It’s okay. Remember, this is your process. The success of this also has a dramatic impact on your paycheck. This is about you and enhancing your ability to make money, take ownership.
So far we have defined, documented and tracked, experimented and set up benchmarks. The last bit is to analyze whether you were successful or not. You can rate your success based income, volume sold, accounts won, agents signed up, etc. Once you have analyzed your success, refine some more.
As a recap, this is my process:
1. Define the process
2. Structure and document it
3. Execute while keeping score of your trials and errors
4. Rate against benchmarks
5. Analyze results and be honest
6. Refine, Refine, Refine